Opiates form such a large amount of our addictive drugs. I thought I would do an article on the history of opium. It has a very long history; in fact back to the stone age. In this article I will cover only up to the 1800s. Watch for part two of this history in later blogs. Contrary to common belief the Chinese were not behind the worlds opium problems at the start.In lower Mesopotamia Hul Gil or “Joy Plant” was in evidence as early as c.3400 B.C. Opium poppies were cultivated in lower Mesopotamia. The Sumerians passed the plant to the Assyrians as well as the euphoric effects of the plant. Poppy culling continued from the Assyrians to the Babylonians who passed their knowledge of the plant on to the Egyptians
In c. 1300 B.C. in Thebes the cultivation of opium thebaicum by the Egyptians was grown in their poppy fields. During the reign of King Tut and Thutmose IV, and Akhenaton, the opium trade flourished. The trade route included the Phoenicians and Minoans who transported opium across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece, Carthage and Europe.
On the Island of the Cyprus the people designed surgical quality culling knives to harvest the opium in about c. 1100 B.C. They would cultivate and trade opium and also made use of smoking opium before the fall of Troy.
Hippocrates who is considered the father of medicine didn’t think much of the attributes of opium and dismisses it as magical in about c. 460 B.C. but acknowledges it as a useful narcotic and a styptic in treating internal diseases and epidemics
Alexander the Great introduces the drug to the people of Persia and India in about 330 B.C.
It is in A.D. 400 that Opium from the Egyptian fields is first introduced to China by Arab traders.
In 1020 Avicenna, a Persian philosopher and scientist taught his students that opium is the most powerful of stupefacients.
About 1200 AD, Ancient Indian books describe the use of opium for diarrhea and sexual debility.
For two hundred years Opium disappears for European historical records as it had become a taboo subject during the Holy Inquisition. As it came from the East, it was therefore linked to the devil thought the Inquisition.
The Portuguese traders started smoking opium along the East China Sea. The practice at that time, 1500s, was considered barbaric and subversive by the Chinese.
In along 1527 there is another change afoot. Opium is reintroduced into European medical texts as laudanum, by a fellow called Paracelsus. The little black opium stones were combined with citrus juice and quintessence of gold and used as.
1600s people of Persia and India begins drinking and eating opium mixtures for recreation use. Portuguese merchants at that time carried cargos of opium through Macao into China. 1601, Queen Elizabeth I charters some ships to purchase the finest Indian opium they can find and bring it back to England. Then later in the century Mughal warriors were given opium daily and in 1637 opium becomes the main commodity of British trade with China.
Further advancements occurred in the 1700s. The Dutch export Indian opium to China and the South East Asian. The Dutch start smoking the opium in a tobacco pipe, and teach the Chinese how to do this. The Chinese emperor Yung Cheng prohibits the smoking of opium and local sale except for medicinal purposes in 1729.
In 1750 Bengal and Bihar’s control is lost to the British East India company. The opium rich growing fields of India dominate the opium trade out of Calcutta to China. In 1753 Linnaeus who is considered the father of botany suggests the poppy as sleep inducing.
1796 The British East India Company has a monopoly on the opium trade. No one in India is allowed to sell opium to competitor trading companies. Shortly afterward import of opium to China becomes contraband trade so silver was smuggled out of China to pay for the opium being smuggled in.
Through all of this, without a doubt in the opium wake was left many addicted people.
If you find you are addicted to opium, give Narconon a call. They will help you see the light in the storm.